Saturday, December 12, 2009

A little Shin-Dig with the Techie Crowd

After work last night I raced home to peel apples. I was resigned to just buy a dessert to make my life easier, but when you love to cook, it's hard to skimp. As I left that morning, I looked at the last box of apples sitting in the garage looking so lovely, and resolved to help them fulfill their intended destiny.

Work was interesting. I worked with our user interface (UI) designer to try to make something much easier to use. Since he doesn't read this, I will just say it: I am not loving his work. In the process of working on a Marketing Requirements Document (MRD), I found a competitor with AMAZING UI work and ruthlessly concocted a plan for scalping their UI folks. Three or four meetings later, I raced home, threw on an apron, and got to work on the cobbler. The apples giggled with delight, and shamelessly cried, "Pick me, pick me!" as I hand selected the most lovely of them all to go into the cobbler. C was already at home when I arrived, and Kawi looked just as pleased as could be, perched upon his shoulder. He was a little anxious when C decided to go downstairs to work out, but took the opportunity to explore my apple peels and lick droplets of water off of the edge of the sink. At the moment I was pouring the topping on the cobbler, the doorbell rang, and I quickly finished the task, washed my sticky hands, and greeted a large crowd of bundled children at the door. They were thanking the bishopric for their service, so I prepped them with the fact that C was working out, then asked him to come up to receive his carol and gift. He graciously did so, and we cheered them on as they trotted off into the cold.

The cobbler was ready just in time to cool down a bit before carting it off to my thesis advisor's home for a Christmas party. C generously offered to come along, despite the prospect of highly stimulating technical conversations. Fortunately, once they learned what C does, he became the center of attention, which delighted me immensely.

My thesis advisor and his wife are French, so there were a few differences with the meal. First, we ate a lovely meal of roast turkey, potatoes, rolls, and vegetables, followed by bread and cheese Boursin, Brie, and cheddar (one of these things is not like the other), and finally, we summed the meal up with dessert. The cobbler was scraped clean before we left, much to my delight, and we were greeted at the door with a colorful box of hand-panned almonds as we left. It was a wonderful evening, and where disaster could have happened, there was perfection.

A few conversations were certainly reflective of the crowd. The one female student (IT instead of CS) asked me about my work, and after I explained our affiliate program to her, and how we have opened our APIs to outside companies, she stated with delight, "I actually understood that!"

I also had some great conversations with the lone PhD student, and the potential PhD student. Our professor and thesis advisor received a group gift, a puzzle made up of photos of the group, and sat down immediately to assemble it while we ate and watched him. When he asked if someone had already attempted to assemble it as a test run, one of the students said, "Let's put it this way - you are the beta tester." C then asked if beta tests usually take this long. We all laughed and mentioned that g-mail is technically still in beta test. What a bunch of geeks! :)

So that was our Friday evening. We left just over the 1 1/2 hours I promised C, and as for our Saturday plans? C is working on a church talk for tomorrow, I am working on homework, and I just might slip up to mom's house to silk-screen the four T-shirts I designed for C this week. She just bought a silk-screen machine, and I am eager to test it out for her as part of C's most anticipated presents of the year. I hope you like these, babe!

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